The mobile world descended upon Barcelona the first week of March for the annual Mobile World Congress 2013. More than 72,000 attendees from 200 countries attended a series of conferences, exhibits, and mobile product demonstrations and releases in what was perhaps the largest gathering of mobile experts ever. Among the highlights of the week for the enterprise IT customer are some of the following announcements and observations:
Mobile Devices continue to Evolve. The enormous adoption of smartphones continues, and device manufacturers were plentiful at the Congress, announcing the release of numerous new mobile devices. One of the big themes was reaching the emerging markets through mobile devices. While there were already 6 billion mobile subscriptions worldwide at the end of 2011 (source: The International Telecommunications Union), which is equivalent to 87% of the world population, device manufacturers were not resting on their laurels. They spoke about connecting the next 1 billion people who will use mobile devices as their primary connection point to the Internet. While smartphone sales may eclipse mobile phone sales to end users by the end of this year, affordable handsets in emerging markets will be key to achieving this goal. To this end, Nokia announced four new handsets, of which one having a price tag of merely 15 Euros.